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1964 New battery, started once, now it wont start

Discussion in '1955 - 1966 Classic Ford Thunderbird' started by Dustino, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. I just bought a 1964 tbird, started right up and ran beautifully. Needed a jump however since battery was so old. Drove it for about 40 miles before it died on me. luckily i only lived about 5 miles away so i got it towed. I thought it was clear that i needed a new battery. Got a new one from the O'Rilies and slapped it in. Started right up, thought i was done. Let it warm up, thought about taking it on a drive to make sure it wouldn't die and to fill up on gas. Thankfully i didn't because i turned it off to run inside my house to get my wallet and it didn't start back up after that. Tried to tighten the battery connectors because i didn't tighten them all the way and nothing, it just clicks. So i thought maybe starter; however, when i was messing around by trying to start it over and over to see if something would just click in place, it started to crank. The issue is i was pushing the button so fast that i let go before it could fully start if it would of started anyways. Couldn't replicate that again. Thought it was the neutral safety switch but i was told it wouldn't even click if it was. Im thinking maybe the relay? Im new to classic cars and its my first one i owned. it has a 390 motor with 23k og miles. Super clean, and loved the drive for as long as it lasted. Somebody please help. Not sure how the wiring should look coming off the battery, however maybe it was tampered with? Or maybe not. That may of been how things were in 64' lol.
  2. I had a similar but not exactly the same problem with my '66. New battery started right up. Sat overnight; killed the battery. I disconnected the battery and charged it up, then reconnected and started right up. Turns out the voltage regulator was bad. HTH Tbird75
  3. Check your connections, at each junction. That's usually the problem for difficult electrical issues.
  4. biddle

    biddle Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Added the model year in the subject for you.
  5. I experienced more or less the same (being OK battery and only clicking when I tried to start the engine), turned out to be the cable between the battery and the relay being bad. When I bridged that cable with a simple start cable the car immediately started. So I replaced the cable and all solved. All on a 1955 Tbird.
  6. try pulling up on shift lever while trying to start the car. if shift arm or detent plate is worn this will cause it not to start without lifting shift arm slightly
  7. Tried the shift lever thing. Im going to upload a picture of the relay. Can anyone confirm this is how it should look. I did unscrew it so its loose atm but it was screwed in. Cables look worn definatly but not to the point where it wouldn't start.

    Attached Files:

  8. I read your post a few times and have a question, you said you were pushing the button repeatedly to try to start it, were you trying to start it with the key or were you under the hood trying to start it? A bad solenoid will give you issues but I’ve never had one shut the car off like you described on your first drive. Oh and yes, someone has done some wiring work from your picture
  9. There is a button under the dash so I turn the key to the start position press the button and it would start. Is that button not usually there? I was curious why start position where they key goes did nothing. Assumed it was normal. And when the car died while I was driving it, I assumed it was the battery because all the lights went out right before it shut off.
  10. Should start with key, someone added the button. You really going to need to trace some wiring to see why it was installed to begin with.
  11. Yea whenever i push it to the start position it springs back to the previous position and just clicks. The button is what actually starts it. Maybe it was added for security?
  12. If I was a betting person, I would go with someone added it to bypass a problem they knew not how to fix. I say that not to be negative but just using the simple theory that if you jumpered the solenoid then you would achieve the same result you have with a push button. Do you happen to have the shop manual for your car or any wiring diagrams? I sold my last 64 over 20 years ago so I no longer have those manuals. I have some 65s now so not sure how much would have changed
  13. I dont have any manuals. When you say jump you mean bypass the starter relay? So i start the starter straight from the battery?
  14. Well, you would use a jumper on the solenoid and start it that way. It might take me a few days but let me look and see if I have any wiring diagrams laying around here by some chance for a 64. I think you need to find the reason for the push button to really find your issue.
  15. I’m not sure if you can blow these up to help but here is a 64 wiring diagram I found in one of my old parts books. After looking at your picture again I would wonder if the added in wires on your starter solenoid aren’t run to your push button deal basically jumping the solenoid. Regardless hopefully you can compare the car to the diagrams and get it sorted out. If you run into more issues post up what you find. 2B10E256-C75D-4F18-8F80-16A6F454F6A9.jpeg 0ADD16D5-0E78-4E7D-91F2-5FDC1427A95E.jpeg
  16. Thanks for the diagram! Ill check it out when im at the car again. Looking at it thought it seems right. 3 small wires were connected to the same post and one small was connected to another with a big wire basically going straight through to the starter.
  17. Good, hope they help you sort it out. Only difference I see in your pic is the wire colors don’t match the original color codes which was what made me think that might be your push button wiring and in turn bypassing your ignition switch’s full function.
  18. Hey. So i tried to text the starter directly bypassing the relay by connecting it to the positive cable on the battery. It sounded like it kicked but didn't turn. I was told this should at least engage the starter and it should turn. Does this mean its the starter?
  19. If you heard the starter try to spin but nothing else might try a coaxing tap on the end of the starter case with a hammer. Are you under the hood when you hear the click to hear if it’s coming from the starter or the relay? I’ve replaced bad starters and although one time they might start the car and the next not I’ve never had one cause the car to die while driving as you had on your first drive.
  20. I figured it out! It was the battery but when i was messing with the wires i took the relay out of where it was screwed, to have easier access to it. Finally looked at the picture and realized. There's no ground cable! The relay being screwed into the body was a ground itself! That's why it would intermittently start. Sometimes it was touching it sometimes it was not. Took her for a drive everything it great. Starts right up when. I push the button. Your diagram helped alot, helped me figure out what wires were added and what weren't. Might make a new thread asking for advice for a bunch of small things not worth making a new thread for each thing every time.

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